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Decorate your home with Poinsettia plants

How to care for your Poinsettia plants:

Poinsettia are green plants with long-lived bracts(vividly colored leaves)and golden yellow flowers and they need special attention.

Place in a room with sufficient natural light that you can actually read fine print in.

Avoid drafts or excess heat from electrical appliances.

Place plant high enough so that it is out of the way of traffic, and out of reach of small children and pets.

Place plant in a waterproof container to protect your furnishing.

Water plant when soil surface is dry to the touch, and remember to discard excess water.

To prolong the bracts bright colors, temperature should not exceed 72 degrees during the day or 60 degrees at night.

When the bracts through age becomes muddy green, cut back plant to 12 inches to grow as a foliage plant. It can be placed outdoors when temperatures warm up in February or March.

Prune back in August or September removing straggly or weak wood and unwanted suckers which may come up from the base of the plant. Remember to seal all wounds with pruning paint or sealant.

Fertilize once per month with a water soluble fertilizer.

Use disposable gloves when cutting or handling the stems as the sap is toxic.

History of the Poinsettia plant:

The Poinsettia plant was first cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico before Christianity came to the Western Hemisphere. The plant is native to the are near present day Taxco. During the seventeenth century, a group of Franciscan priests settled near Taxo and because of the brilliant color of the flower and time of blooming, the flower because a symbol of purity and was used in the Fiest of Santa Pesebre, a nativity procession. The native Indians had practical use of the plant by extracting a reddish-purple dye made from the bracts and from the latex, a medicine preparation was made to counteract fever. Poiinsettias was introduced into the United States in 1825 by the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett. He was a botanist of great ability and had some plants sent to his home in Greenville, South Carolina.

The modern era of the Poinsettia culture began with the introduction of the seedlings cultivar”Oakleaf” in 1923. Since this introduction, many more cultivars have been developed throughout the years.

Planting guide for December

Vegetables:Beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, lettuce(head and leaf), radish, spinach.

Flowers:Aster, baby’s breath, calendula, candyturf, carnation, cosmos, daisy dianthus, gallairdia, hollyhock, larkspur, lupins, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, periwinkle, petunia, phlox, poppy, snapdragon, stocks, sweet peas and verbena.

Grasses:Bahia

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